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5 podcasts United Way ATX is listening to

One of my favorite things about working here at United Way ATX: I’m surrounded by people who love learning. The team is entrepreneurial, constantly looking at new research findings and channeling that learning into impactful programs that fight poverty.

The learning we’re doing takes a lot of forms… sometimes as 50+ page research papers, other times as engaging podcasts. In fact, podcasts are so popular here in this building that we even have a Slack channel dedicated to sharing good ones. (Random aside: This Slack channel was named with a typo – #podcats – so a rogue feline makes its way into the channel periodically. As a lover of all animals AND podcasts, I’m delighted by this.)

There’s a lot of good learning happening through podcasts, and I want to share some of that with you. Here are 5 podcasts recently recommended by United Way ATX team members on #podcats related to our work fighting poverty. Happy listening!

1. Hidden Brain
Zipcode Destiny: The Persistent Power of Place and Education
52 minutes

This episode digs into the research of Harvard economist Raj Chetty. Chetty uncovered some shocking data about how much your early years impact your entire life. From your Kindergarten teacher to your access to nutritious food to the neighborhood you grow up in, your experiences in those early years have a big influence on your lifelong outcomes.

Here at United Way ATX, we believe that your zip code shouldn’t determine your opportunity. That’s why we focus on education, health, and financial stability… the building blocks of opportunity for all people and communities.

2. 99% Invisible
The ELIZA Effect
45 minutes

Check this episode out if you’re interested in (or intrigued by) AI and mental health.

Did you know that United Way ATX provides mental health support? People seeking mental health support can dial 2-1-1, and a compassionate, certified specialist will answer the phone and help the caller find counseling resources.

3. The Brain Architects Podcast
Brain Architecture: Laying the Foundation
33 minutes

Success in life begins with a quality education, but more than 50% of children in Travis County are not ready for Kindergarten. This episode explains the science behind how brains are built and the importance of laying a firm foundation by age 6.

That’s why United Way ATX leads a community coalition called Success By 6, with a goal that every child in Austin/Travis County enters Kindergarten happy, healthy, and prepared to succeed in school and beyond.

4. Two Guys on Your Head
Amicable Dissent (January 9, 2020)
8 minutes

In this quick episode, co-hosts Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke – both professors at UT Austin, down the road from our office – talk about the psychology behind changing minds, and how to do it better and more often. This weekly podcast is short and good food-for-thought.

5. Dolly Parton’s America
All Episodes
OK, OK this one doesn’t really have much to do with the poverty-fighting work we do here at United Way ATX. But Dolly is a favorite – rather THE favorite – of our fearless leader David C. Smith. When Dolly Parton’s America landed in October, there was a lot of buzz about it in our halls. Enjoy!

Have you recently listened to a podcast that inspired a new way of thinking? Do you find yourself recommending a certain podcast to anyone who asks (or doesn’t)? Let us know — we’d love to give it a listen.

And if you listen to any of these episodes, let us know what you think!

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